Controversial Fan Game ‘Sonic Omens’ Has Been Completed, And Everyone Is Very Confused

You might have heard chatter on social media about a fan project that just wrapped up this week, called ‘Sonic Omens’. The final chapters of this impressively ambitious – but highly controversial – fan game was completed and released to the world a few days ago, and the Sonic community has been quick to comment on how developer Ouroboros Studio has made use of the franchise’s accepted canon.

* Warning: Spoilers for the ‘Sonic Omens’ fan game below. *

While the feedback on the project’s core gameplay seems generally positive – if Sonic Unleashed style gameplay is your kind of thing, it sounds like you’re going to have a great time – it’s the story beats, use of characters and dialogue that are currently a source of confusion with those who have played the game.

“It’s a fairly decent fangame,” writes user Blake Leyland. “The visuals/scenery look good. The gameplay is solid, but there isn’t much else that stands out to me.”

What did stand out to Blake though, was the return of Sonic Adventure 2 character Maria – a young girl who grew up with Shadow the Hedgehog on the Space Colony ARK – and her somewhat complicated and uncharacteristic turn to a boss in Sonic Omens. The idea of having to battle “Maria’s ghost” as Shadow was a touch uncomfortable for some.

Despite this, one player felt that the Maria boss was pretty good in terms of execution. “It turns into a bullet hell, near final boss… you’ve got a screen nuke move you build up, so everything balances out. I was actually surprised,” writes user ‘Snick of the Internet’.

It’s worth noting that the above was just about the only praise that ‘Snick’ was willing to give the game – making it clear that overall they really didn’t like the game. At all.

Perhaps the part of the story that surprised people the most was the inclusion of Chris Thorndyke, a human character that Sonic befriends in the official 2003 anime ‘Sonic X’. Chris comes from a completely different universe to Sonic the Hedgehog, according to the anime storyline, so it’s interesting to see him return in Sonic’s world.

However, it’s less the actual inclusion of Chris Thorndyke that has generated surprise – rather, his adult design (seen above and here, where a user draws comparisons to Sora from the Kingdom Hearts series) and his fate within the storyline. During the course of the game, Chris dies and during a credits sequence Sonic is seen visiting the character’s grave.

It’s certainly a very… complex and creative take on the Sonic the Hedgehog universe, and while the plot does seem to have some fans online the general feedback is somewhat less kind. Which is a shame because a lot of effort has clearly gone into developing this game.

Sonic Omens has also been mired in controversy for the past year or so, as it was discovered in 2021 that Russian game studio Ouroboros had a Patreon account that was tied to various elements of the game’s development. This led to accusations from the community of the studio attempting to find ways to profit from their use of the Sonic the Hedgehog IP, something that is frowned upon as it could invite blanket repercussions and fan game project bans from SEGA.

For its part, Ouroboros has written a number of statements to fiercely deny this, rejecting what they called an “unfounded wave of hatred” from an “aggressive minority” of “brawlers”. In a recent statement from early 2022, representatives from the studio claimed that “everything published from [Sonic Omens] was original content – such as bosses, team-created assets , original soundtrack and concept art. Ouroboros has every right to monetize that content.”

If you’re as confused as we are right now and just fancy trying a new Sonic fan game, you can download Sonic Omens from the Gamejolt page right here. Just, maybe mute or skip the cutscenes while you’re playing it.

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Dreadknux

Founder of The Sonic Stadium and creator/co-organiser of the Summer of Sonic convention. Loves talking about Sonic the Hedgehog in his spare time. Likes Sonic Colours a little too much for his own good, apparently.

10 Comments

  1. If we’re calling out the bad Patreon conduct on the basis of it threatening other fan projects, is it really a good idea to endorse this game?

  2. In terms of story, Omens felt like if Takashi Iizuka, Shiro Maekawa and Shun Nakamura just went balls to the walls and wrote edgy plot for Sonic game way beyond Adventure 2, Ow the Edge and ’06 as well for not having Sega’s current mandates in their way and not thinking Sonic games just as kiddy mascot games while doing so, and for some absurd reason they just suddenly decided to consider Sonic X anime as part of the mainline games.

    I mean this should be everything that Sonic fans wante-oh who am I kidding, you can’t please these people.

  3. I got around finishing it. It’s fan game like no other, showing prowess in multiple at multiple different layers. I’m actually very impressed by the fact that a 3D fan game, especially of this kind, has reached completion. Congratulations to everyone involved, this is quite an achievement that even professionals struggle with!

    Scenario-wise, it attempts to bridge the different scenarios presented in the the early 2010’s with Sonic X, Sonic Unleashed and Sonic Lost World, which is quite an ambitious and difficult thing to do. The result was a fairly valiant effort. The main antagonist is a very JRPG kind of character, which may be more in tune with the taste of certain fans

    The difficulty of the game may be a little too raw for certain people. There are very little automation or telegraph to help guide or nudge the players in the right path/execution; You’ll often need to understand the physics and your available abilities fairly well to progress certain parts or be familiar with the different attack patterns to beat the boss. If you don’t mind a lot of those wrong choices punishing you harshly like me, this might be right in your alley. Approach it with an Elden Ring player mindset and you’ll be fine heh.

    What I’d like to especially praise in this work is the character usage, many of the environment choices and cinematography. Those cutscenes, boss intro/outros, music usage (esp. on the finishing blow), etc. So many things ticked the checkboxes that I found were lacking in official media.

    There are a few rough areas in some parts of the game. You’ll probably hear people picking on some of the delivered voice lines, script lines, controls, etc. However, all and all, it was personally a pretty positive experience.

  4. I was under the impression that Omens was controversial only because the developer reportedly monetized on it and only that part. Didn’t even know until now a lot of players were iffy, to say the least, on some of the content in Omens as described above.

    As for said content, I find it pretty meh. I mean they are a bit odd for sure but I have seen MUCH more questionable stuff in some Sonic fangames, and I don’t mean the numerous (and stupid) Exe horror creations.

  5. Why would you mute or skip cutscenes? Story is like half of a game. What’s even the point of playing it at that point? The creator can do what they want with it; it’s thier own beast, if you have that much issue with what they’ve made there’s always the option of not playing it.
    This site really confuses me sometimes. Rag on essentially a fan game with no bearing on the series canon at all for doing it’s own thing, yet praise the clearly rushed, needing fixes and poor shadow of the originals that was Sonic Origins.

    1. A fan creator can do what they want, but once it’s out in the open for people, it’s open to criticism. Dread wasn’t super-critical, in fact one of his first points was fairly positive on the gameplay, but I think it’s fair to say the story choices in it are odd, and that’s at least noteworthy.

    2. Who’s ragging on this game? The article here is clearly reporting what ~other~ people in the community are saying about the game and the controversies surrounding it. Which, you know, is the job of news reporting. Sonic Origins has nothing to do with it.

      Sorry if that confuses you.

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